Valley painter proof age is no barrier for art

Hans Larsen works on a painting - Submitted
Hans Larsen works on a painting
— image credit: Submitted

Record Staff


Hans Christian Larsen is no stranger to the Pearl Ellis Gallery.

“As a hobby painter I have been fortunate in having had my work shown in 15 solo shows at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox,” he said in a press release.

“My buddy Marty Brown (the painting barber) joined me in the last four shows, which we titled ‘The Duelling Brushes’.”

He’s going solo for his latest show, Impressions In Oils, opening July 15 and running through to July 27.

For Larsen, painting has been a lifelong labour of love.

“I have been drawing and painting as long as I can remember,” he said.

“However, the creative juices have flown in spurts. Months could pass between touching pen or brush.”

Larsen had an epiphany of sorts, some 24 years ago, upon his retirement in 1990. He credits a fellow artist with helping him get over his spells of ‘painter’s block’.

“A week-long workshop with Bragg Creek, Alberta impressionist Neil Patterson at the Old School House at Qualicum Beach did the trick,” he said of the turning point in his artistic endeavours.

It was more than a turning point – it was an embracement of a totally different way of life.

“In the past I would often golf five days a week,” Larsen said of his former favourite pastime.

“Since attending Patterson’s workshop I have not had a golf club in my hands.”

Nowadays, while his pace has slowed slightly, he still always has something on the go.

“I’m getting close to having completed 1,000 paintings,” said Larsen. “In 1996 I did 87 paintings. But, I have slowed down considerably. While I always have a painting ‘going’, chores often seem to get in the way. My upcoming show might be my last ‘solo’, but I will always have something new for our annual members’ show.”

Larsen’s paintings will strike a chord of familiarity to Comox Valley residents, as a lot of his subjects are within the community.

“My favourite subjects are scenes from the Comox Valley and Fjellerup Strand in Denmark where my daughter and son-in-law have their summerhouse,” he said. “I like ‘fall colours’.

“Any subject may strike my fancy, including bits of wood, bark or old stonewalls.”

Hans Christian Larsen is proof that you are never too set in your ways to embark upon a new hobby. If it comes from the heart, it will show in the final product.

“I love painting,” he said.

“It is a rewarding pastime that I will encourage anyone to give a try. That you may not ‘draw a straight line’ is not a handicap. In fact, it could be an advantage. It really is fun.”

So, why not come and have a look at one amateur’s efforts? It might just give you the urge to try it.

The Pearl Ellis Gallery is located 1729 Comox Avenue. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays from 1-4 p.m.


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